Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Apple Picking

It's fall!! I couldn't be more excited. I love this time of year, especially in Washington, DC. The humidity finally breaks and we can enjoy the glorious weather. It's time to break out the sweaters, fall boots, and pumpkin spice everything!

One of my favorite fall traditions is apple picking. This year we went to a new place, Waters Orchard, with our friend Dani and her daughter. This was a no-frills orchard; no hay rides, pumpkin patches, face painting, or apple cider donuts. But, the trees were full of delicious apples that were ready for the taking. It was perfect.

We picked a total of around 20 pounds (a bushel). I'm making apple butter with some of my lot as we speak. I can't wait to spread it on toast or put it in my morning oatmeal.

After apple picking, we all went for ice cream at Bruster's. My pumpkin pie flavor was my favorite, but the death by chocolate was a big hit too.

What a fun day! Do you have any fall traditions that you love? Can't wait for pumpkin picking and carving soon, too!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Great Wolf Lodge

A few weeks ago we took a family vacation to Great Wolf Lodge in Virginia. We've been hearing great things about it for years, and it seemed like something our kids would really like. Spoiler alert, it was great!

This place has fun down to a science; every aspect of the lodge is meant for kids. I was initially skeptical about whether Dan and I would have a good time, but it was so much better than I thought. We had fun too!

We found a Groupon for a day when the kids were off school, which made the trip really affordable. I know they run specials all the time, so I would definitely recommend looking for that. Our coupon was for the Kid Kamp room, which was perfect for us. It's a hotel room with a separate den for the kids. The den is outfitted to look like a tent and has bunk beds for the kids. I was worried about Asher in the bunk bed since he's in a crib at home, but this one was fantastic. The sides were high enough that he couldn't get out on his own. Of course Zahara loved being on the top bunk!

The lodge has tons of activities for kids at all times of day. We spent most of our day in the water park, but in the evening, it was great to play games, have a dance party, get their face painted, and go trick-or-treating. There was even a story time in the evenings that Zahara stayed up until almost 9:00 pm to hear.

The water park was much bigger than I thought. It has a ton of different areas that you can spend your time in: a lazy river, a toddler activity section, a giant fort, a wave pool, a hot tub, and of course the slides. The kids adored it, but I was surprised how much I liked it too. Dan and I even got the chance to switch off and go on a couple of rides on our own. It was so fun!


Click here for a video of Dan and Asher with the giant bucket.

I just loved how carefree the whole weekend was. There was no stress about how the kids were behaving. They could just have fun (or tantrum) and there was no judgement from anyone. We ate at the restaurant one night, and though the food wasn't great, it was easy. We even started a tradition that my parents had with me--dessert first on vacation! The kids were thrilled!

All-in-all, it was a great vacation, and I would absolutely recommend it. Yay for family vacations and fun memories!

Have you been to Great Wolf Lodge? What did you think? Let me know in the comments?

What We Were Up To This Summer

Is anyone else surprised that it is October? I mean, seriously. How did that happen?

This summer felt like it rushed past. I know everyone says that, but truly it's hard to remember what happened between June and September. I know we spent a lot of time at the pool, and we hosted a ton of people, and we ate lots of ice cream. I probably worked, cooked, and changed a million diapers. There were probably tantrums, and giggle-fests, and staying-up late, and s'mores. Yes, there were definitely s'mores. Though I struggle to remember the details, I'm left with a good feeling from our first summer in our new house. It was a very good summer.

Here are some highlights:

We hosted sixteen people over the course of five weekends. It was busy, but so much fun to see all of our friends. I'd do it again in a heartbeat (and plan to next year!).

My Dad

Cousin Madison


My high school friend Lee and his family

A Harrogate Reunion (12 adults, 6 kids under 5)

Mom and dad

Basically, this is how we spent our summer. People told us when we were looking at this community that the pool was amazing. I get why now. It's a beach access so the kids can wander in by themselves. Most of the pool is shallow, and it's huge. I wish there were more shade, but overall, I see us spending a lot of summers here.

In our house, summers mean birthdays. All four of us have a birthday within five weeks of each other. Dan, Zahara, me, then Asher. And that's not even counting both of my parents who are also summer birthdays. It's always fun (for me, at least) to count down the next celebration.

Florida We escaped the DC heat and traded it for the Florida heat. We had a really nice time visiting my in-laws, and even got to do something new--visit the Everglades! It was SO HUMID, and eventually started pouring, but we had fun seeing (and holding!) the crocodiles

At the end of summer, we celebrated two big milestones. Zahara started kindergarten and Asher started preschool! They've only been in school a couple of weeks, but so far so good! Zahara loves being a big kid with a locker and everything. And, for the first time, the kids are in the same building. Z checks on Asher occasionally which just makes my heart happy.

I have tons more pictures, but I think I'll leave it here. What a great summer it was!